Here's an update from Day 2 of Saskatchewan Roughriders 2016 Training Camp in Saskatoon presented by Coors Light.
1 - The Riders were in pads on Monday and the back-to-back, two-a-day workouts were spirited and lively. Head Coach & GM Chris Jones noted that indeed the intensity has picked up and he was encouraged by the fact the defense forced several fumbles, but was discouraged by the fact the offense was putting the ball on the ground. He said they'll need to work on ball security in the days ahead.
2 - Darian Durant picked up where he left off on Sunday -- being very sharp. Regarding the back-up position, Jones said the competition is wide-open, just as all spots are. With the addition of Jacob Huesman - who had a much better day on Monday - there could be a big shift on the QB depth chart this year. I didn't zero in on the performance of incumbent back-up Brett Smith however there were few incompletions on the day, and he had a big part in that.
3 - Quarterback B.J. Coleman ran hot and cold on Day 2. He struggled a bit early on but progressed mightily throughout the morning. He sold the play-action well, and drew encouraging words from Chris Jones during the skeleton period for a beautiful deep pass on the numbers of Nic Demski.
4 - The infusion of height in the receiving corps has been a welcome addition for the quarterbacks. That includes 6'1" wideout John Chiles who went up for several balls. However he came down hard after one reception, and required medical attention.
5 - Veteran receiver Naaman Roosevelt likely got the game ball on Day 2. He scored a pair of dazzling touchdowns on deep receptions, one in which he went up between two defenders and came down with the football. He even celebrated the touchdown by spinning the football on its nose, but then realized he needed to retrieve the ball for the ballboys. Receivers coach Markus Howell laughed at Roosevelt's exuberance and the sophomore receiver said he hopes the showboating doesn't show up too bad on film.
6 - There have been no fights, but defensive lineman Corey Irvin and offensive lineman Andrew Jones had to be separated by teammates after a shoving match.
7 - Receiver Rob Bagg likely got more touches today then he ever has in a training camp during his career. His speed was evident and as Chris Jones said, "Rob's giving us exactly what we expected". He's laying out, diving for footballs which is a great example for the rookie receivers.
|Rob Bagg in action on Monday|
9 - Interesting to note sophomore receiver Ryan Lankford spent time in the top receiver grouping, nudging out 6-year veteran Clarence Denmark.
10 - The Riders released two players on Monday: DB Kwame Adjei and RB Malcolm Cyrus. They also added three import players: defensive lineman Tony Criswell (6’8 – 250 – Missouri), running back Johnta Hebert (5’10 – 195 – Prairie View) and defensive lineman Jonathan Newsome (6’3 – 247 – Ball State). Newsome is a former Indy Colt who impressed Chris Jones on his first day in camp. He led the Colts in sacks in 2014 and there's an article on him below.
11 - Interested observers on Day 2: Huskies coaches Brian Towriss and Scott Flory.
12 - Earning "check marks" on my roster for eye-catching plays were: RB Quadarius Ford, RB Curtis Steele, SB Rob Bagg, REC Nic Demski, RB Terrance Cobb, DB Justin Cox (INT), LB Greg Jones (great run-stopping), DB Marte Sears (athletic knockdowns), OL Kadeem Adams, OL Matt Vonk, WR Naaman Roosevelt (multiple check marks), DT Hasan Hazime, DL A.C. Leonard and LB Dillon Grondin.
13 - Earning "X's" were REC Marquez Clark (fumble) and DB Tyree Hollins (would've been penalized for contacting a receiver).
14 - The north wind wreaked some havoc on special teams and gave kicker Tyler Crapigna some problems with field goals. However veteran punter Josh Bartel uncorked a few beauty punts with great distance and hang time.
15 - Rob Bagg is holding on field goals after the depature of Weston Dressler.
16 - QBs Darian Durant and B.J. Coleman were both victimized by interceptions, by Graig Newman and Justin Cox respectively.
17 - Chris Jones' fiery nature was evident when he chewed out an assistant coach who will remain nameless. As one bystander noted, "These guys are like brothers and no one takes it personally". They're like family, and sometimes families yell at each other in the heat of the moment.
18 - CBC's Devin Heroux brought up to defensive end Shawn Lemon the incident where he and his Calgary teammates mockingly took a photo on Eskimo coach Chris Jones' motorcycle two years ago. Lemon said Jones brought it up this off-season, but Lemon blamed the idea on teammate Juwan Simpson. "Simp's not playing anymore so he's an easy one to blame!"
19 - TSN announced its preseason broadcast schedule on Monday and the network will televise the Riders' home preseason game on June 11 versus B.C. however the lone broadcast of the road preseason game June 18 at Edmonton will be on radio.
20 - Workouts on Day 3 on Tuesday are scheduled for 9:00 am - 11:15 am at Griffiths Stadium.
By: Sam Robinson, TodaysPigskin.com
The Saskatchewan Roughriders added what will become one of their more high-profile players on Monday, with former Colts pass-rusher Jonathan Newsome tweeting of his move to Western Canada.
A fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft, Newsome played in 33 games for the Colts in his two years on the roster — including all three of Indianapolis’ playoff tilts during his rookie year. He provided strong pass-rushing support off the bench as a rookie, finishing the regular season with 6.5 sacks. During a season in which Robert Mathis was lost due to a suspension then a torn Achilles’ tendon, the rookie ended 2014 as the Colts’ sack leader.
Newsome also contributed to the Colts’ cause in their two playoff victories that season, registering a sack of Peyton Manning in Indianapolis’ divisional playoff upset and forcing a fumble.
But the Colts parted ways with Newsome in late February shortly after he was arrested for marijuana possession. He avoided a felony conviction for the infraction, however, helping his cause in seeking additional football employment down the road. Although he cooperated with police upon being taken into custody, Newsome did not see another team claim him on waivers. He’ll cost the Colts $89K in dead money in 2016.
However, Newsome did not build off that strong initial campaign, finishing with a sack and a forced fumble during the disappointing Colts 2015 season. In 350 snaps last season, Newsome graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 97 overall edge player among those who saw enough playing time to qualify for full assessments.
The Cleveland native and Ball State alum will likely be a prominent part of the Roughriders’ pass rush this season and could conceivably convince another team to give him a second chance in the states with a solid effort up north.
The following is the Day 2 report from the 2016 Roughrider Training Camp presented by Coors Light courtesy of the Roughriders PR department.
International defensive lineman Tony Criswell (6’8 – 250 – Missouri)
International running back Johnta Hebert (5’10 – 195 – Prairie View)
International defensive lineman Jonathan Newsome (6’3 – 247 – Ball State)
Did not participate:
Jorgen Hus (suspended – personal)
Spencer Moore (personal)
Eric Norwood (injured)
Xavier Walker (day-to-day)
National defensive back Kwame Adjei
International running back Malcom Cyrus
Day two of training camp was another spirited day as the players put the pads on for the first time. The intensity seemed to rise to another level again. All turn to the trenches as the offensive and defensive lineman engaged in one on one battles.
With the pace of the day high, first year Rider Head Coach Chris Jones was pleased to get through the required reps under the allotted time.
PLAYERS OF THE DAY
First-year receiver Qudarius Ford got a reaction from the morning crowd as he made an impressive diving catch to haul in a 40-yard reception for the would-be touchdown.
The defence answered back as rookie defensive back Marte Sears broke up what appeared to be a sure catch with a flying Superman like leap.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The good thing is there has been changes but we have a lot of guys that have played in the league, so it is not like you are starting with a bunch of rookies. We do have first year guys but we also have a lot of veterans that have played and won and been very good players. It’s kind of like mixing fuel for a two-stroke. You have to mix it just right or it will smoke.” General Manager/Head Coach Chris Jones.
Players and coaches will hit the practice field at Griffiths Stadium for Day 3 of training camp with one practice session. The players will be on the field at 9:00AM with practice running until approximately 11:15AM.